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June 18, 2014

Gay rights activists suspect ban was repealed is because lawmakers do not want to be 'humiliated' by the European Court of Human Rights

St Petersburg has repealed the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

Lawmakers in the city’s local assembly decided there was no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The second largest city in Russia was one of the first to introduce an anti-gay law in 2012.

Vitaly Milonov, who was the co-sponsor of the original homophobic legislation in St Petersburg, introduced the repeal but this does not mean he is supporting LGBTI people.

He said he will continue to fight against ‘gay propaganda’ and seek to criminalize such acts.

November 6, 2013

While the federal law will still stand, Arkhangelsk is the first region in the entirety of Russia to repeal a ban on 'gay propaganda'

A Russian region has become the first to repeal a law banning ‘gay propaganda’ today (6 November).

Lawmakers in Arkhangelsk, in north Russia, decided there is no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The region, known as ‘Archangel’, was the second after Ryazan to implement a local anti-gay law in 2011.

It was before seven others including Saint Petersburg followed in 2012.

In the two years since having a regional ban on gay propaganda, Arkhangelsk only found three activists guilty of disobeying the law.

October 2, 2013

A Russian judiciary court has agreed with an international ruling, a sign they could be forced to in years to come to repeal the federal law

A historic ruling in Russia could be the key to finding an end to the ‘gay propaganda’ laws.

Back in March 2009, gay activist Irina Fet protested against the regional homophobic law in Ryazan.

She held a placard saying ‘Homosexuality - It's Normal’ and ‘I am proud of my homosexuality’ outside schools and libraries.

Arrested, charged and fined 1,500 rubles ($46, €34), Fet was found guilty of informing minors about homosexuality.

While her group Moscow Pride appealed the charge, they lost at a local court.

September 28, 2013

Donations from Swinton and generous people around the world have helped cover the cost of funeral for inspirational gay activist

British actress Tilda Swinton has donated over £1000 ($1603) to the funeral of Russian gay rights activist Alexey Davydov.

The actress, a prominent supporter of gay rights, sent the donation to help cover the cost of Davydov's funeral.

The organisers needed to raise over $2000 (£1247) to cover the cost of the funeral, which they have now surpassed.

Nikolai Alekseev, one of the organisers of Moscow Pride, confirmed they had received the donation from Swinton.

September 25, 2013

A group of 10 have proved what will happen if gay rights activists dare to defy the protest ban during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games

Ten LGBT activists were arrested at Sochi Olympics HQ in Moscow for daring to defy Russia’s anti-gay laws today (25 September).

The group, led by gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, tried to hold a protest against the ban against public rallies during the Olympic Games in Sochi next year.

According to eyewitness reports, once police seized a poster calling for the end to homophobia in Russia the group were immediately arrested at around 2pm (local time).

June 6, 2013

Three masked men attacked Nikolai Alekseev, who received minor injuries, as he was about to board a train leaving from Kostroma to Moscow, Russia

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia was attacked, as he was about to board a train in Kostroma heading for Moscow, Russia.

Three skinheads dressed in black, wearing white masks that covered their faces, cycled right up to Alekseev, physically and verbally assaulting him, earlier today (5 June).

Alekseev recounted to Gay Star News, while recovering on his train journey: ‘I was about 100 meters from the train station when someone ran into my back with a bicycle.

June 5, 2013

Legislators of St. Petersburg parliament have rejected an attempt to repeal a law that bans so-called 'propaganda' of homosexuality

The St. Petersburg city parliament has rejected an initiative to repeal a law banning the so-called ‘propaganda' of homosexuality.

The city introduced the in March 2012 punishing the 'propaganda' of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality amongst minors with a fine of 5,000 rubles ($157) for individuals, 50,000 rubles ($1,570) for officials and 250,000-500,000 rubles ($7,854-$15,710) for organizations.

‘It is absurd to introduce liability for something which is not a crime or offence.

May 25, 2013

Nikolai Aleskeev was taken into custody at Moscow City Hall where an illegal gay pride march was scheduled

Nikolai Aleskeev, Russian LGBT rights advocate, has been arrested for his part in organizing a gay rights march this morning.

The activist posted a photo to his Facebook page where he and a group of protesters were under police custody in the back of a police van.

Aleskeev spoke with Gay Star News yesterday about the potential harm gay rights activists faced in today’s gay rights march, especially after Moscow city authorities explicitly banned the march from taking place.

May 24, 2013

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride, received a warning from Russian authorities not to go ahead with the event tomorrow, or else face legal consequences

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, has received a warning from the Russian General Prosecution not to go ahead with a planned Moscow Pride tomorrow.

Earlier today (24 May) security officers twice served a warning to Alekseev at his Moscow home.

Last year, Moscow's highest court ruled to ban gay pride parades in the Russian capital for the next century.

May 23, 2013

Despite a Moscow suburban court ban, organizers intend to go ahead with Moscow gay Pride as plannedDespite a Moscow suburban court ban, organizers intend to go ahead with Moscow gay Pride as planned

A Moscow suburb court upheld the decision of the city authorities not to permit a gay pride parade this Saturday (25 May). Despite the ban, activists say Moscow Pride will go ahead as planned.

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, stated: ‘Khimki City Court upheld the ban on the planned Gay Pride rally and march.’

He added he would appeal on Monday to the Moscow Regional Court.

May 22, 2013

The Council of Europe demanded that Russia must act to guarantee the right of LGBT people to freedom of expression and demonstration

The council of Europe demanded that Russia’s LGBT community would be guaranteed the right of expression and demonstrations, as the country continues to clamp down on gay events and rights.

In a press conference held in Moscow today (22 May) Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe (CoE) delivered a stern message to Russia regarding gay rights.

April 26, 2013

The founder of Mongolia's first LGBT rights organization, Mongolian LGBT Centre, talks to Gay Star News

Otgonbaatar Tsedendemberel, executive director of Mongolia LGBT Centre talks to Gay Star News about the struggle to get the organization established, achievements and plans for the first ever Mongolian Pride this year.

When did Mongolian LGBT Centre open? How did it come about? 

In 2007, the mandate to register non-governmental organizations (NGOs) belonged to the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs (MoJHA). At the time, MoJHA refused to register LGBT Centre, given the name of the organization was not recognized.

April 26, 2013

Russian gay and political activist Alexey Kiselyov was granted a fast-track political asylum in Spain for being thereanted with imprisonment over Moscow protests

Renowned Russian LGBT rights advocate, Aleksei Kiselyov, has reportedly been granted political asylum in Spain.

Moscow based fellow gay rights advocate, Nikolai Alekseyev, reported today (26 April) that Spain granted Kiselyov asylum and a five-year permanent resident permit.

Kiselyov participated in a protest against the reelection of President Vladimir Putin on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in May 2012 that was violently dispersed by police.

April 15, 2013

Russian Railways director, Vladimir Yakunin, said gays should shut up as they have only one right - not to be beaten to death with sticks 

The head of Russian Railways, Valdimir Yakunin, said that the civil rights of LGBT people should be limited to ‘public morals’ and ‘common sense’.

He further said that the extent of ‘civil rights’ for gay people should limited so that they are not beaten with sticks to death, reported the portal GayRussia.

Otherwise, the company director called for ban the freedom of expression and family rights for gays and lesbians.

March 26, 2013

Syktyvkar's authorities, capital of Russia's republic of Komi, have banned a gay pride march as it ‘promoted homosexuality’, while its organizer was badly beaten

The Syktyvkar city administration, capital of the Russian republic of Komi announced that its banning a planned gay-pride parade.

In a statement released yesterday (25 March) the authorities explained that the ban on pride, which was planned for 31 March, was put in place in response to ‘requests from the city's religious and public organizations not to allow public events promoting homosexual values’.

It also stated that Syktyvkar’s Mayor Ivan Pozdeyev requested that city lawmakers prepare a draft law banning any similar events.

March 20, 2013

Kostroma regional court made a landmark ruling saying that gay pride events were previously illegally banned by the authorities

Press Secretary of the Kostroma Oblast Court Julia Medvedeva announced the court ruled illegal a ban on gay pride marches in the region and on two rallies against the local law prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality among minors.

‘The Civil Chamber of Kostroma Regional Court granted the appeal of Moscow Pride and events founder Nikolai Alekseev against the decision of Sverdlovsk District Court’, said Medvedeva today (20 March).

December 26, 2012

Moscow's highest court refused to review a ban on Pride, defying rulings by the Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights to lift it

The Presidium of Moscow City Court, the highest court in the city, rejected the appeal of organizers of Gay Pride in Moscow to reconsider the ban against the event by city’s authorities.

Moscow City Court previously dismissed the appeal against a ruling by Tverskoy District Court of Moscow, on 9 July, to uphold the ban on Moscow Pride.

November 25, 2012

UN Human Rights Committee passed a landmark ruling saying a Russian law against ‘homosexual propaganda’ is discriminatory, violates the basic right for freedom of expression and unconstitutional

The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) found Russia’s application of Ryazan region anti ‘homosexual propaganda’ law against LGBT rights activist Irina Fedotov to be in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the grounds of freedom of expression and discrimination.

LGBT activists say that this historic landmark ruling will have far reaching effect not only in Russia but worldwide on other countries that legislated, or plan to, laws against ‘homosexual propaganda’ such as Lithuania and the Ukraine.

September 14, 2012

Russian state media hailed the country’s Supreme Court ruling as a blow to discrimination of LGBT people, yet its decision actually strengthens gay events ban

The Supreme Court of Russia has ruled that some LGBT events are not classified as ‘homosexual propaganda’.

The Supreme Court’s ruling, passed this Thursday (13 September), concerned the recent legal ban on ‘gay propaganda’ to minors issued by legislature in North Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region.

Nikolai Alexeyev, an LGBT rights advocate contested the ruling in both the lower courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

July 18, 2012

Russian activists claim London embassy's warning about risk of children staying with gay families is 'official homophobia in action'

Russia's embassy in London has issued a warning to parents about the risk of their children staying with 'gay families' during their placement at UK summer schools.

After receiving complaints from Russian citizens, the embassy in the British capital released a statement on its website claiming that some children who were studying in the country had experienced 'inappropriate housing conditions' and 'maltreatment', including being denied food, while staying with host families.

May 19, 2012

Moscow has refused to sanction a gay pride for the seventh consecutive year, while neo-Nazis attack IDAHO rally participants in St. Petersburg

Moscow under its new mayor has refused to sanction a gay pride in the city for the seventh year in a row.

This comes after several dozen neo-Nazis attacked IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) rally participants in St. Petersburg on Thursday (17 May).

LGBT activists, however, are unfazed by the growing hostility towards homosexuality in the country and vow to proceed with the parade in Moscow, scheduled for 27 May.

May 4, 2012

London honors US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with LGBT award as it hosts World Pride 2012

Pride London and global LGBT organization Kaleidoscope Trust will be honoring US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the World LGBT Award this July at a gala dinner to celebrate World Pride 2012.

The British capital is hosting World Pride this year, along with the Olympics. Gay Star News is the official news site of the pride festival.

The Dine with Pride cocktail reception and gala dinner on 5 July is set to be a star-studded black tie fundraiser for Pride London.

April 7, 2012

Police evidence that two gay activists ‘promoted homosexuality to minors’ was insufficient

The two gay activists arrested in St Petersburg on Thursday (5 April) have been released by a court.

They were the first two people arrested in the Russian city under its new legislation which bans ‘the promotion of homosexuality to minors’ and had faced fines of 5,000 roubles ($172 €125) each and 15 days imprisonment if found guilty.

April 6, 2012

First use of new anti-gay ‘propaganda’ legislation in Russian city of St Petersburg

Two gay activists from Moscow Pride were arrested in St Petersburg yesterday (5 April) under the new ‘gay propaganda’ law.

The law, similar to legislation in other Russian states, officially prevents the ‘propaganda of homosexuality to minors’ but campaigners warn it will be used to gag any public discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues or events targeted at gay and trans people.